Afronauts and the Liminal Space: Daniel KojoAfronauts and the Liminal Space: Daniel Kojohttp://www.haverford.edu/calendar/details/84902Chase Auditorium2009-02-18T16:30:002009-02-18T18:00:00
February 18,2009 4:30PM–6:00PM
Talk by Fine Arts visitor, Daniel Kojo Schrade, entitled, "Afronauts and the Liminal Space."
Art and Cultural Identity Speaker Series
In association with Carol Solomon’s Art and Cultural Identity course, Haverford College Center for Peace & Global Citizenship and The Hurford Humanities Center are sponsoring a series of public lectures by visiting artists. Art and Cultural Identity is an interdisciplinary examination of the issues, with texts by Bhabba, Fanon, Hall, Said, and others. Concepts discussed in the course include exile, displacement, diaspora, alienation, transnationalism, hybridity, and cosmopolitanism. Topics of discussions include cultural imperialism, orientalism, and cultural property debates.
Sponsored by the Center for Peace & Global Citizenship, the Hurford Humanities Center, the Distinguished Visitors Program, and the Department of Fine Arts.
Daniel Kojo creates works in series using motifs originating from various cultural contexts. Combined with purely gestural, non-representational elements, these motifs—fragments of figures, letters, words, texts—are used as ciphers of identity. As each series progresses, the artist repeats and transforms the motifs that have become his personal iconic archive. Among his major cycles are Afronauts and Brother Beethoven.
“Afronauts,” the artist explains, “are dislocated characters who create and control their own image spaces, where they claim the power to define themselves and to re-negotiate identity ascriptions. They appear, drawn or painted, in a kind of space suit and various head coverings (helmets, hats, caps) based loosely on Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, a Jamaican record producer and musician who used to perform in a similar outfit. Their figurative presence generates disturbances in what is primarily a homogeneous way of painting, and it transforms my work into what has been called ‘painting from the spaces in between.’ I place such figures in the tradition of the Ghanaian trickster ‘Anansi the Spider’ and his modern equivalents ‘Felix the Cat,’ ‘El Ahrairah,’ and ‘Wile E. Coyote’.”
Kojo began the Brother Beethoven series in 1999 “as an effort to lay claim to an ‘icon’ of Western high culture: in addressing Beethoven as ‘brother,’ the famed composer—whom we now know to have descended from a grandmother from the former Dutch colonies—is displaced into the context of the Black diaspora, highlighting the hybridity inherent in what was traditionally defined as ‘White’ culture.”
More in the series:
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Hee Sook Kim